The most common aesthetic procedures in the world are filler and botulinum toxin injections. Filler serve the purpose to smoothen deep wrinkles and adding volume to face and body where needed. Botulinum toxin is applied for dynamic wrinkles of the face by paralyzing the underlying muscle temporary.
The vast majority of fillers are not permanent, which means that they will be absorbed or metabolized by the body within 3 to 12 months depending on the ingredients and brand. Some fillers, meant for very deep injections to add volume, might stay for up to 18 months.
The vast majority of filler patients are pleased with the treatment results and continue to undergo this procedure in appropriate intervals. The filler is available readily and the procedure is quickly performed with little downtime afterwards.
However, those who seek long lasting or even permanent results with fillers, can’t be satisfied with the existing products. The best solution for them could be the vice versa of fat reduction or what we called a fat transfer. The technique of injecting fat as body’s own tissue filler is described and already used worldwide for decades. There are sterile single-use kits available, which make the procedure safe and cost effective for patients and practitioners alike. One should know however, that fat cannot be used for very superficial fillings like intradermal injections. Otherwise there are no restrictions regarding the area and layer of injection.
Fat can be applied for facial filling including lips or even body contouring including buttocks and breasts. There is a downside however. Not all of the harvested and injected fat will survive in the injected area. On average, if done properly, up to 70% of the injected fat cells can stay alive and function as a permanent filler.
This fact requires the practitioner to “over-correct” to some extend while injecting and also to advise the patients, that touch up session might be necessary.
My approach is, that I recommend patients, who come for the first time for a filler treatment, to decide on ready-made fillers. This way the patients can experience the filling effect on a temporary basis and think of going for a longer lasting solution at the following filler session. If so, I usually propose fat filling to the patient.
Getting back to the question in the title: Yes, for those patients, who seek filler treatments on a regular basis, fat might be the best option as a long lasting solution.